Bringing a puppy or kitten into your home is like welcoming a new baby into your family. You will feel joy, perhaps a little uncertainty and an overwhelming desire to do everything possible to get your new pet off to a
happy and healthy start in life.
“Meeting your pet's health needs starts with good prevention at home,” says veterinarian Dr. David Cook. “Pay close attention to your pet's physical and emotional behaviour and be sure to contact your veterinarian if you notice anything abnormal,” says Dr. Cook. He suggests pet owners need to learn the following signs to help determine what is normal and healthy and what is a potential health problem that should be reported to your veterinarian right away.
Signs of a healthy pet:
- Eyes should be bright, clear, full of life and free from any discharge.
- Ears should be clean and free from any discharges, odour and redness.
- Nose should be clean, without discharge.
- Coat should be shiny and clean.
- Weight: Active and playful puppies or kittens are rarely overweight.
- Ask your veterinarian for nutritional advice on maintaining your pet's healthy weight, including the importance of a pet food formulated for their needs.
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Signs you should contact your veterinarian:
- Diarrhea can be caused by many factors including bacteria, viruses, internal parasites, toxic substances or too much food.
- Vomiting. While it's not uncommon for a pet to vomit occasionally, frequent or persistent vomiting isn't normal, particularly if it contains blood, or is accompanied by diarrhea or abdominal pain.
Respiratory problems: coughing, sneezing, wheezing, gagging could be a sign of respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or kennel cough.
Stopping eating or drinking: If your pet has stopped eating or drinking, especially a puppy or kitten, it is a sign that something is wrong. They can become dehydrated very easily and you should contact your veterinarian immediately.